Importance of vegetation in ditches

As outlined in the staff report on ditch maintenance and responsibilities, ditch vegetation plays an important role in the effective and efficient management of storm water through ditches.

Ditches along roads are often have vegetation in them. This plant life slows down the water, allowing a portion of it to soak into the soil while allowing some of the debris and pollutants to settle out. Fine sediments often associated with pollutants filters out as subsurface water moves through a mesh of plant roots. Those plants roots take up water, helping to reduce the volume of run off after a storm.

Removing vegetation from ditches

Ditches that have vegetation present and continue to allow for the flow of water are considered healthy infrastructure that does not require service. Vegetation should only be removed if it is obstructing flow that may lead to property or roadway damage.